Cheap destinations in Europe – As children, vacations are a wonderful thing. You get to go to new places and see parts of the world you never anticipated. Not to mention the obvious bonus that it could provide a break from school, your normal routine, and responsibility in general.
As an adult, once we replace school with work, we find that we do still enjoy these vacations for those reasons, but now there’s more to it. You have to plan for it…and pay for it. Paying for a vacation can be stressful as the bills add up, but what if they didn’t have to? Let’s look at some cheap destinations in Europe for 2020, some might surprise you.
There are places you can go to get the stress relief you want, without having to compromise on your budget or your vacation sites. Does that surprise you? Well, prepare to be inspired and quite possibly tempted into booking a cheap weekend escape Below are 15 cities in Europe (yes, Europe) that have wonderful sites, without the startling price tag.
Budget travel destination in Eastern Europe
It will certainly come as no surprise to anyone that booking a holiday and travelling throughout the Eastern European countries will offer you cheap destinations in Europe and some of the best value for money in the country. Most of these countries have also come on in leaps and bounds recently in regards to tourism and travel opportunities while still offering a great price.
Destinations such as Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic and Bulgaria offer huge value for money and can be visited easily as part of a big trip or simple weekend getaway. Check out some of the best value for money areas to travel to in Eastern Europe below.
Poland is a beautiful country with a little bit of history, and Krakow is the place to go to be at the centre of it all. If you’re into the history aspect of a vacation, then this is for you.
Sadly in Poland and in particular Krakow, not all the history is of a happy nature. It’s important to note the dark aspects of our history as we continue forging our path forward though and I strongly encourage visitors to the area to embrace this dark history and learn from it. One of the darkest of moments in our history revolves around the area known as the Auschwitz concentration camp. From Krakow, you can easily organise guided tours of the area and can also combine this trip with other adventures in the area as well. If this area isn’t quite your speed, then there are several other sites to try out and a quick read through these 18 things to do in Krakow should get you interested.
When you visit Krakow, don’t forget to try the food as it is a highlight of the area in my opinion. There are several different traditional and delicious dishes that were born in and around the Krakow region and they are just waiting for you to taste them. This guide to the must-try food in Krakow will get your appetite ready. For more information on the area, and some advice on how to spend a cheap 72 hours exploring the city of Krakow please check out this 72-hour travel itinerary.
Fancy taking a Greece Island holiday without breaking the budget? Then you will fall in love with the island known as Icaria. Icaria (sometimes also spelled Ikaria) is a Grecian island in the Aegean Sea. Fun fact: Icaria gets its name from the Greek legend of Icarus. When he was a boy, he invented a pair of wings, but he flew too close to the sun and crash-landed, supposedly right on the island. While Icaria may be free of flying children, it does have tons of beautiful beaches.
The island is abundant with nature and can be a lovely break from the tamed plants we keep in society. Icaria’s tourism isn’t too overwhelming compared to the more well-known islands such as Santorini and Mykonos, which means prices for you will be cheap when it comes to your expenses.
When it comes to not only Eastern European countries but also the broader European countries in general, Hungary is good at flying under the radar. The country may not be in the news very often, but that doesn’t mean it is short of exciting things to see and do. Budapest, for example, has 80 geothermal springs and many are still possible to swim in today.
In addition to this spectacular natural event, Budapest has some wonderful architecture. The root of these designs is Celtic and Roman in nature and make it beautiful to see.
Budapest also has incredibly cheap lodging options and some exciting music festivals and nightlife areas for those looking to have a fun weekend away.
Austria is another country that doesn’t often find its way into the news all to often, but that doesn’t mean they too don’t have a story to share!
Vienna is known for its artistic and intellectual legacy and is constantly reflected in its surroundings. Around you is beautiful architecture no matter where you seem to wander throughout the city. Along with the beautiful architecture, there are many museums for you to visit and historic palaces you can tour. Vienna also lies along the Danube river, which gives rise to plenty of water sports and day cruises. This exact cruise along the Danube River provided me with one of the highlights of my time in Vienna.
As Austria is often in the background of travellers thoughts, Vienna is a hidden gem with fair prices
Warsaw, as is the case with Krakow, is another area rich with World war 2 history. The Warsaw ghetto in Poland was another area where the Jews were held. In an uprising, they held off German forces for two months here before the Nazi’s finally gained on them. To document the historical significance, there are plenty of sites to visit. Warsaw also hosts plenty of museums, churches, and even palaces that are available for tours, have a look at what is on offer.
Because of the history behind Warsaw, it shares a similarity with Stockholm in that it doesn’t make most people’s top ten European travel destinations list but it’s important to learn world history and Warsaw is a beautiful area with great prices for visitors.
Maybe you could look to combine a trip to both Krakow and Warsaw in the one trip. Look at flight and start planning
Prague, Czech Republic
Here is yet another city that many average tourists don’t visit, although that is beginning to change now that more and more people discover it and start bragging. Its beautiful charm is constantly present for everyone to witness, soak in and enjoy. Prague has several aspects of historical wonder woven through its architecture. At the heart of the city is the town square, which highlights the history of its buildings and a famous clock tower.
Aside from the historic buildings, Prague is also famous for having hundreds of statues of saints, as well as several gothic churches, and its medieval astronomical clock which I briefly mentioned before.
Budget travel destination in Western Europe
It is true that Western Europe is home to many of the most popular tourist destinations for travellers wishing to see this well-visited continent but that doesn’t mean that every location is going to blow your travel budget. If you can manage to escape the lure of well-trodden tourist path destinations such as Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam and Rome then there are certainly some bargain budget travel locations. Let’s have a look at some of the best in terms of attractions and budget-friendly prices.
Spain is a beautiful country with many different things to see but most of the time tourists will opt to go to popular destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid or San Sebastian. However, the city of Valencia offers plenty of beautiful locations of its own and shouldn’t be overlooked when planning your Spanish holiday. Valencia is known for its beautiful arts, but also its science background as well and there are plenty of museums attributing to both. In addition to gaining knowledge in the area, there is plenty of sightseeing to be done. Starting with the beaches, which Valencia has plenty. In addition to those, Valencia hosts several hikes that you can take to see its nearby natural wonders. It is also the birthplace of one of Spain’s most famous dishes, the paella.
Like many places on this list, Valencia is off the main tourist path, meaning there are plenty of cheap options for you, start looking now.
Here is another stunning European city for you to check out, Denmark! Copenhagen is well known for its great food so be sure to bring your appetite with you!
Copenhagen has many sites to see and locations to shop in. If you’re more of a shop heavy person, then Copenhagen’s cheap accommodation options might catch your eye and allow you to purchase more shopping items as your travel budget will be reduced. Be warned though that what you spend shopping is not my fault. In the town square, there is an entire street dedicated to shops that suit every budget.
If shopping isn’t your style, then there are many museums and gardens to visit. One especially popular place is the Tivoli Gardens. To get ideas of what else there is to do in Copenhagen I would suggest checking out the GetYourGuide website for further inspiration.
Leipzig Germany is a populated, busy area, but not in a bad way. Rather than a crazy number of tourists, Leipzig is populated with locals. The area itself doesn’t host many tourists, which is sad given how beautiful Germany can be, but at the same time, it’s great for your budget. Hotels and cabins will be inexpensive.
This area has many historical sites to view as you get a taste of German life and culture. Travel to this lesser-known German location
Sadly, thanks to the term “Stockholm syndrome”, this area can get a bad reputation. The phrase doesn’t state just how amazing this area is. You get to see all this amazing beauty yourself, and at a great price. There are plenty of museums and palaces to check out during your stay.
In addition to this, Stockholm has some impressive water geography. What does this mean? Well, the city encompasses a total of 14 islands. To get from one place to another, there are over 50 bridges. The area is a true sight to check out and also offers plenty of boat trips to nearby castles and royal palaces. Sweden can be an expensive place but when done right it can also be surprisingly cheap.
Ireland is known mainly for its population or rather the laid back and easy-going attitude of the locals. Everyone there is extremely pleasant and friendly. The atmosphere isn’t the only great thing about Dublin. There are plenty of historic buildings that are perfect for any historian!
Some of these sites include things like Dublin Castle and St. Paul’s Cathedral. In addition to these two buildings, there are plenty of parks and museums to keep you entertained. A good source of inspiration for things to do in Dublin can be found in this Dublin City Guide.
Of course, Dublin is off the beaten tourist path, so hotels or hostels aren’t overly expensive. The latest prices for the dates of your trip can be found here and if wanting to see more Irish destinations than just the capital city this list of beautiful places in Ireland will assist you further.
Costa Nova, Portugal
Costa Nova is a wonderful spot in Portugal and if you’re looking for a beach vacation, this will be right up your alley. It has all of the good parts of the beach, including dining, activities, and of course the actual beach.
In addition to this though, it lacks the negatives that come with a popular beachside holiday location such as drunken noise and large crowds. Costa Nova is away from some of the bigger Portugal cities, meaning it’ll be nice, quiet, and relaxing for you. At the same time, this also means it will be cheap.
Florence holds a part of our history that is truly beautiful and of course, I’m talking about the birth of the renaissance. Florence is the epicentre of one of the greatest creative periods of our entire history. It gave birth to some of the most brilliant artwork known to man. To feature this artwork, there are several galleries in Florence which are a must to visit while in the city. Along with these are the many statues created during this period of time.
Not every vacation needs to be jam-packed with touring every sight and seeing every museum. If you prefer a nice, relaxing vacation, then Marbella is an ideal location for you. This city doesn’t have an insane number of museums or sights, which means their tourism industry is small. For you, that means the hotel prices and even the prices to rent a villa are insanely cheap.
This price allows you to still see the beautiful Spanish beaches, as Marbella has many Mediterranean beaches that you can enjoy and why not pair that with eating wonderful local tapas. It’s the perfect Spanish beach vacation minus the crowds.
England is a country that many people are aware of thanks to their media presence and a booming main city that is known as London. Have you ever wanted to see the country? Many have, but the price tag can scare them away, especially if London is the area of interest. If you can possibly manage to look for other alternatives rather than staying at one of Europe’s most popular cities though the answer to this problem is simple to solve. By taking a look at some of the lesser-known cities in England you can easily half your travel expenses. There is potentially no better location to do this in than York. Like the rest of England, York has some beautiful architecture as well as a ton of history behind the city. There are also plenty of museums to visit in the area.
Unlike some of the big cities in England, like the previously mentioned London or even Cambridge, York is relatively off the map when it comes to tourism. For you, this means you can go see the sites without breaking your bank account or wrestling large swarms of tourist crowds.
Travel Tips to save money while travelling in Europe
All of these places have amazing price tags that won’t break your budget. As we all know, saving money isn’t a simple one-step process. Below are a few travel tips to help you.
Travel with Busabout
Busabout is a great platform that makes travelling around Europe really easy yet completely flexible. They have buses leaving many popular and not so popular locations every second day right across Europe. I travelled with them one complete European summer and had the time of my life.
Find out why I think they are one of the best options to use for an extended trip to Europe and just how flexible travelling with Busabout can be. You can find a guide of exactly how they operate here.
Cross Reference Prices
Do you think you found a really good deal on your first try? You probably did! But is it the best deal? The only way to find out is to save that tab, and then keep looking. Hotels don’t always have the same price tag (well, they almost never do). So do some research and chances are you’ll find an even better price.
Your Hotel Doesn’t Have to Be Five Star
Think about what you’re doing? Is your plan mainly just to relax in your room? Then make sure it’s good quality!
But sometimes all we need is a reliable place to rest our head each evening before another day of tourist activities. If this sounds like your trip then maybe look at a hostel or even three-star and four-star hotel options. These options will still provide comfort while also saving you a hundred dollars (or more) a night.
Don’t Eat Out Too Much
Sure, if you’re travelling to a new country, you want to experience the cuisine. Eating out every meal may be a simple way to do so, but the price tag adds up. Instead, if you have a kitchen, get some local recipes and find the grocery store. It will produce some great options.
Booking an Airbnb or staying in a hostel with a good kitchen provides the best chances for tourists to cook their own meals. Find out the benefits and bonuses of staying in an Airbnb.
Tour More of The Natural Sites
Museums are fun, but tickets can be expensive. If you’re looking for sites, you can also hike to see the nature of the area or, in many cases, simply walk around the city. The architecture can be a wonderful sight and keep you in awe for hours alone.
If you’re wanting to find out even more smart and easy ways to save money while travelling, have a look at these extra 50 savings tips for your next travel adventure.
Now, with all of this in mind, go and have some fun. You don’t have to break your budget to have a good vacation. Each of these cities may not be on the average top ten must-visit destinations list, but that doesn’t take away how beautiful they are.
Choose your favourite one of these cheap destinations in Europe and plan your next holiday getaway.
Other useful companies I use in Europe:
GetYourGuide – A company that offers a selection of popular tours for almost every destination you are likely to visit.
Viator – Viator also offers a range of tours and private excursions you can do in popular destinations. Always good to compare prices between companies.
FishingBooker – If you enjoy a fishing trip then Europe has plenty of exciting destinations to choose from. FishingBooker is a website that lists the best local charters in different locations around the world
Ebates – This is a great tool to use when booking almost anything online. You will automatically get a percentage of your paid price credited back to you after you complete your tour, accommodation stay or flight. Find out more about Ebates here
Booking.com – One of the companies I use the most when I’m travelling. It allows me to search for good accommodation and see pictures, and fellow travellers reviews of the hotel. Always offers great prices as well.
HostelWorld – If I’m not looking for a hostel then I always book through HostelWorld
Europe on a shoestring by the Lonely Planet – The travel bible as it becomes known to me during my travels around Europe. Shares plenty of information and provides a great source of knowledge. An easy to read book, which features attractions, accommodation travel advice for different parts of Europe.
World Nomads Insurance – If you are travelling for an extended period or almost any period in general then it is always best to have reliable travel insurance. Unfortunately you just never know when your travels will need to be altered or someone decides they like your belongings more than you.
Organise Your Trip: Travel Advice and Tricks I Personally Use
Book Your Flight
Heading to either Skyscanner or Momondo are my methods of choice for this. They are my favourite as they search for flights from different companies all over the world. You can filter the results to suit your needs and ensure you land the best price every-time.
Book Your Accommodation
This is an important part of any holiday you’re going on. Read all the reviews and get the right accommodation via TripAdvisor. They even show you the best prices available at the time for that room from suppliers like Booking.com.For booking a hostel your best bet is to start with HostelWorld or possible even use CouchSurfing if you’re on a real budget.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is a must these days so you have a piece of mind you’re covered for anything that could go wrong while on your trip. I now never go on a trip away without travel insurance. I’ve been using World Nomads for the past few years.
My favourite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (little more expensive but covers everything)
- SafetyWing (cheaper option to just cover you for health issues)
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
As I have been travelling frequently over the last few years I’ve learnt some great tools to use for saving money when travelling. I have a travel resource page that lists all the trusted companies I personally use and rely on. I think you will find them good as well.
The Best Place To Book Your Tours
If you are someone you likes to have the best tours in one place and read reviews from other travellers about their personal experiences of each different tour then the best platform to use is GetYourGuide.
They offer the best tours, have money-back offers in case your trip is cancelled and ensure the price of each tour is the lowest possible.
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